“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment & The CNN Las Vegas GOP Event

I haven't written anything regarding the Communist News Network's recent Las Vegas "event" for GOP presidential candidates for several reasons.

First, I didn't watch it. I have zero respect for Anderson Cooper and couldn't conceive of him being anything but combative to a group of candidates which Cooper's network so loathes.

Second, I figured, as later video clips proved, that the event- it wasn't a debate, so no use pretending on that score- was constructed by CNN to damage the entire GOP field and help Wonderboy. So there would be no value for me in seeing yet another staged screaming match between the candidates.

Third, as I wrote in this post, I don't care what the candidates say about each other- only what independent voters think about them,

"I think what would be more meaningful to me would be something like the following. A network provides a weekly two-hour slot for its 'candidate of the week.' One of the GOP presidential hopefuls sits on a set with one or two moderators and answers questions from online feeds and a live audience. Moderators provide follow-up questions and/or fill in background on the candidate's prior remarks on the topic. Or contrast their stance with other candidates, etc.

And, for good measure, the original audience/online questioner gets a few minutes of give-and-take with the candidate, so if the latter evades the question, the questioner can complain about that and note it for everyone else.

I really don't care so much what Mitt thinks about Rick. Or what Newt thinks about anyone. Or what Rick (Santorum) does to try to look relevant.

In the end, I care more about how these people interact with prospective voters than how they fence with each other. I don't expect them to agree with each other, so what's the surprise in these bear-baiting formats?"
 I spoke with a liberal friend/squash partner earlier this week about the now-famous video clip from the Las Vegas event where Perry and Romney engaged over immigration and the former's bad debate performances.
I contended that the entire event, but especially Cooper deliberately letting the two look petty by shouting over each other, was calculated to hurt the entire field and help the president. My friend responded that Cooper isn't that smart. I said it wasn't Cooper, but the guys talking into his earpiece, directing him to let the catfighting continue.
Then Cooper smirked and said something smarmy, to the effect,
'I didn't think Republicans behaved like that.'
Which brought me to this thought.
Why aren't the top 8 candidates coordinating how they will control so-called debates at which they appear? Didn't anyone's communications directors or campaign managers realize that attending a CNN event was to invite disaster and humiliation?
Perhaps the RNC should get between the candidates and the networks, brokering formats so that the focus is on moderator or audience questions, not candidate-to-candidate criticism. Honestly, voters are smart enough to figure out what they want to know from each candidate. They don't need other candidates to help them on that score.
Networks want to create newsworthy events, which typically means force in-fighting and embarrassing gaffes. The RNC and the candidates should all want to provide voters with opportunities to learn more about each candidate's positions, not how the candidates feel about other candidates' positions.
I would really love to see the RNC chair now step forward and take control of future candidate events, mislabeled as 'debates,' and enforce formats that minimize violations of Reagan's 11th commandment, i.e., Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican.

What's Sauce for the Goose- The Case of Harold Koh

Bill McGurn wrote a revealing editorial in Tuesday's edition of the Wall Street Journal concerning Harold Koh, the Secretary of State's legal advisor.

Koh is being justly pilloried for inconsistent, yes, even hypocritical behavior with regard to how the US fights terrorism.

In brief, Koh, a former Yale law school dean, one of whose students was John Yoo, went to great lengths to persecute and prosecute his former student when Yoo was George Bush's Justice Department Counsel. Yoo defended waterboarding. For that, he has been pursued by the left ever since the mid-years of Bush's administration. Koh-led efforts attempted to disbar Yoo.

Now Koh is justifying the use of Predator drones to kill terrorism targets from a distance, often also killing innocent, unknown bystanders.

All this, apparently, to avoide capturing and, then, having to deal with the discomfort of how to handle such prisoners.

McGurn observes that Koh called Yoo's memos defending enhanced interrogation techniques "torture memos," and, thus, refers to Koh's "execution speech," wherein he defended those drone kills of innocents.

As with so much of Wonderboy's foreign and anti-terrorism policy, this administration refuses to acknowledge how it has, in fact, backed away from its prior, incendiary rhetoric, often continuing and even expanding George Bush's original policies.

McGurn suggests that Koh should, in good conscience, either publicly apologize to Yoo for his past persecution of the latter, or maintain his honor and resign over the principles involved in the Predator strikes.

Instead, Koh does neither. So much for the most ethical administration ever and the continued misbehavior of its members.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

OccupyWallStreet (OWS) Bigotry On Video

Here are two unvarnished videos presenting OWS anti-Semitism. In the first, now probably gone viral, a black LA teacher spouts anti-Semitism.

Next is this anti-Semite at OWS.

Finally, Bernie Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly discuss OWS bigotry earlier this week on O'Reilly's The Factor Fox News program. The woman in the first clip has been fired from her public school teaching job. The two debate the fairness of this. It's a situation of no small import. Should the woman's right to speak out in public, though hate- and bigotted speech, be protected? Or does the fact that she was a publicly-funded teacher curtail that right?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wonderboy Tries To Rewrite History On His New Stimulus a/k/a "Jobs" Bill

'Go big, Go bold'

Those were the words Wonderboy used last week in describing his jobs plan as he began his 2012 campaign tour.

Well, trying that in 2009 got him a GOP-controlled House and slimmer Democratic majority in the Senate last November.

Far from 'running the GOP out of town' as he threatened voters will do for not passing Wonderboy's jobs bill, voters are likely to run them out for passing it.

This is just the latest attempt by Obama to try to confuse the electorate and rewrite history. In fact, he even managed to use the Trumanesque "do nothing" Congress line, conveniently omitting that the GOP House has passed bills which are stacked up in Harry Reid's Senate hopper, because the Senate Majority Leader is afraid to bring them to the floor for a vote.

Including, for weeks, the president's cherished jobs bill.

Bills like healthcare repeal, a budget, and spending cuts.
The truth is, voters have seen the trillion dollars wasted on the first stimulus, so they don't want the president and Congress to 'go big' or 'go bold.'

Republicans, both in Congress and those running for the presidential nomination, have sensibly offered as their job-creating actions: freeze/reverse excessive energy-, financial service sector- and healthcare-related regulation; cut spending by tens of billions in each of the next several years; reform the tax code to end preferences and lower rates; end the administration's war on business.

In response, only yesterday on his Virginia bus tour, Wonderboy characterized GOP economic plans as simply allowing companies to pollute and repealing Dodd-Frank, alleging, incorrectly, that "Wall Street" was the source of the 2008 financial crisis. His own plan was described as 'putting teachers back in classrooms.'

More pork-barrel, union-jobs spending isn't going to provide any lasting economic stimulus. And, frankly, neither will a focus just on "jobs." By the way, if teachers were hired by companies that ran outsourced public education, do you think the First Rookie would be so eager to re-employ them?

And why do we want federal funding for local teachers? States and municipalities often must balance budgets. Thus, they make informed tradeoffs regarding local government services affordability. And many states have seen teacher and associated employment growth outpace that of students for years. To simply sidestep sensible local spending constraints by borrowing the money for excess public sector unionized teachers from China, at the federal level, is a bad idea.

What's needed is economic growth, which is brought about by business expansion. Which can, and probably will, entail job creation.

But placing employment growth before economic growth misses the point and reverses cause and effect.

Wonderboy also has become more openly dictatorial, proclaiming in a recent campaign speech,

'If Congress won't pass my jobs bill, we can't wait. We'll find other ways to do it'


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The BofA Witch Hunt

How confusing.

First Congress passes Dodd Frank. A law which imposes crushing and expensive regulatory burdens on consumer banking. And generally dissuades banks from doing as much consumer banking activity as they did prior to the law. A normal economic reaction when a producer experiences rises in costs of delivering a service- less is delivered.

So BofA responds by cutting 30,000 net employees and shifting focus from retail to institutional banking, because new legislation has made the former less profitable.

To make up revenues lost by new credit and debit card rules, BofA recently announced- explicitly and transparently- a new $5 fee in any month that a customer uses their debit card.

Wonderboy responded, when asked about the new fee, by attacking BofA for hidden fees.

But it's not hidden. It's a natural and expected response to Dodd Frank, and totally transparent. It's meant to drive customers back to using credit cards for small and mid-sized transactions, which will recoup some of the revenue for BofA, at no cost to customers who would pay the balance in the current period anyway.

Yet now people are protesting this explicit fee, which they have a choice not to incur. And Wonderboy blasts BofA for a fee that meets his own requirements.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Benefit of Herman Cain's Federal Sales Tax When Collected Via Tax Returns

I don't know if Cain calls for his 9% sales tax to be collected by retailers or not.

But making it payable via annual federal tax return filing would allow it to be simply implemented.

From reported income, subtract money that increased savings or other investment accounts. Attach usual bank and brokerage, fund management documents, but now record net increases in balances. Those count as savings.

Allow spending on education- tuition, books, fees, etc.- and medical care to be subtracted and exempted as investment, too. In either personal productivity or health.

What's left is spending. Which has a 9% flat levy assessed as tax.

However, I'm not clear as to why Cain, and others, contend that his federal sales tax will somehow access the underground, cash-only tax-evading economy in America.

If one accepts cash and never deposits it in any bank or fund accounts, then it continues, for tax purposes, to not exist. If undocumented cash is deposited in a bank account, then, all other things equal, it will actually shrink the apparent spending level by raising savings without a corresponding rise in income.

It would seem fairly intrusive, though, to have the IRS audit returns in which undocumented deposits are material. For the average American not engaged in tax evasion, deposits are typically traceable to documented income, account transfers, or cash income involving a 1099 form. But for the IRS to detect large scale discrepancies would be to sanction widespread examination of personal bank accounts. Not something I would guess most Americans would desire, simply for reasons of privacy.